Is health care a super luxury item?

There’s a fairly inane, tongue in cheek article in the Boston Globe about the Cost of Living Extremely Well (CLEW) index, which is apparently rising much faster than the Consumer Price Index (CPI). While the CPI is rising about 3.6 percent per year, the CLEW is rising at 4 percent or more. The point of the article seems to be that when the prices of luxury goods are rising quickly, that means the economy is in good shape.

According to the article:

Basically, the best stuff is rising out of reach even faster than everyday stuff — you know, things like food, gasoline and healthcare.

Actually health care costs have been rising by about 10 percent for the last several years, and the price of gasoline is up at least 50 percent recently. Caviar and champagne are a lot more stable.

October 30, 2005

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